Eastern Hophornbeam - Ostrya virginiana
A small tree (to 50 feet), often with a forked trunk, this species is found in all states east of the Mississippi, with distributions in Midwestern states and Canada as well. It is most common in the lowlands although in the more westerly populations it is a tree of mountainous sites. The leaves are up to 5 inches in length and elliptical with a pointed tip and double-toothed margins; in autumn they are yellow. The flowers are in catkins, and the fruit is a nutlet, contained within a husk and borne in clusters. The bark is roughened, and the trunk of old trees gnarled.